Arthritis in Dogs
Ways to Treat and Reduce Joint Pain Caused by Old Age & Arthritis
Most dogs are notorious for their bounding, sometimes contagious energy. Their enthusiasm for living shows when it's time for a walk, when we take them to the park, and when it's time for dinner. Just like humans, however, dogs slow down with age, and eventually, the walk is a little stiffer, the park play isn't as exuberant, and it takes them a little longer to get to their food bowl.
This doesn’t mean their fervour for life has diminished; it could be a sign that they’re experiencing the effects of arthritis (osteoarthritis). Because they are our most trusted furry companions, we want to give them relief so they can still enjoy the little and big things in life.
The winter season is an especially important time to pay attention because the cold temperatures can aggravate sore joints. In this article, we’ll explore what causes canine osteoarthritis and ways you can treat it, particularly during the colder months is.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that affects the whole movable joint, including the bone, muscles, and ligaments as the cartilage wear away. Cartilage covers the ends of the dog's bones and is continuously being replaced as it breaks down. When osteoarthritis is present, the cartilage starts to break down quicker than it can be replaced, which causes inflammation and pain. Osteoarthritis becomes increasingly prevalent as dogs get older, and most commonly affects dogs in the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders.
Ways to Treat and Reduce Joint Pain
Although osteoarthritis is nearly impossible to reverse, the good news is that symptoms are treatable. These are three easy tips that can help your afflicted pup to feel more comfortable.
1. Watch that Weight!
Common sense physics tells us that the more weight one has to carry, the heavier the load on the joints. Making sure your dog gets enough exercise and feeding them dog food specific to their age range is crucial to relieving pressure on the joints.
For dogs with stiffer joints, simple walks around the block, especially on flat surfaces, are much better than hilly areas, sinking sand, or crowded parks where they may have to dodge other moving canines.
2. Crank up the Heat
Warmth is medicine in itself. If it’s chilly in your home, turn the heat on, even slightly. A space heater near your dog’s bed could be his own personal convector. Other things to consider are a warm bed, a cosy dog coat or jacket, and gentle movements, like a walk or mild tug-of-war. Not only does warmth provide a sense of comfort, but it also:
Relaxes the muscles
Stimulates blood flow
Improves circulation, and
Reduces stiffness in inflamed, pained joints
3. Dependable SupplementsDogs are living longer these days, mostly thanks to research and more reliable medicines. When looking for supplements that may help alleviate pain associated with poor joint health, as well as slowing arthritis progression, we highly recommend the Blackmores range as they are Australia’s #1 trusted pet brand for natural health.
If you’re looking for a dependable range of supplements, you’ll want to consider these first:
• PAW Osteocare® Joint Health Chews: With glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate (the building blocks for cartilage), PAW Osteaocare® chews are tasty kangaroo treats that provide everyday joint care.
• PAW Osteosupport® Joint Care Powder: This powder is clinically-proven, using the highly palatable Perna128® Green-lipped Mussel as it's the main ingredient. They are filled with essential omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and ETA) and glucosamine and chondroitin.
• PAW Cosequin® DS: These double strength sprinkle capsules contain a synergistic combination of glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulphate, manganese and vitamin C.
Your furry friend may not be as energetic as he once was, but he’s still your closest mate. Healthy weight and gentle exercise, warmth, and dependable supplements are three proactive ways to help your dog to feel more comfortable in his skin… or joints. Not all dogs are the same, so we highly recommend bringing your pooch in store so one of our pet experts can help you with any adjustments needed for your ageing dog.